Working at Pancake Bay Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Kathleen Boston, a Discovery Leader at Pancake Bay Provincial Park. 

Three years ago, I applied to spend my summer working at Pancake Bay Provincial Park. It was one of the best decisions I ever made!

Thankfully I was chosen to work as a gate attendant for my first year. In my second year I moved to the maintenance department, and now, in my third year, I am part of the Discovery Program team.

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Behind the scenes: from curious camper to Discovery staff at Lake Superior Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Jordan Welch and Kelly Taylor, Discovery Program staff at Lake Superior Provincial Park

We have all been asked the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?”

We tend to make the decision based on the experiences we have. For some, it’s school; for others, it’s travel. Perhaps even friends and family help in deciding a career path. We went outside.

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The life of a resource steward

Today’s post comes from Rebecca Rogge, a travelling resource steward for the Northeast Zone.

I first started working for the Northeast Zone Resource Steward Program back in 2011. It seems like a lifetime ago.

At the time, it was a relatively new job in Ontario Parks. The program had only been around for a few years, and few of us existed.

Several parks were created in 1999, the majority of which were “non-operating” provincial parks. They generally do not have facilities or dedicated staff. Many protect recreational waterways and nature reserves protect rare flora, fauna and geological landscapes.

This is where we, the resource stewards, spend most of our time. In these wonderfully beautiful and diverse places.

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Happy World Ranger Day

Ontario Parks staff tackle a huge array of tasks and challenges.

Our days are diverse. You might find us researching rare species, applying First Aid to injured guests, maintaining safe and healthy water systems, building a boardwalk, or welcoming families to a busy campground.

We’re stewards of our province’s most treasured natural resources. We’re educators, instilling a love of nature in new generations of Ontarians.

Internationally, World Ranger Day celebrates their wonderful work protecting our parks, and commemorates park rangers killed or injured in the line of duty in park organizations with high-risk activities.

We’re proud to keep our parks safe and welcoming to visitors, while protecting our amazing natural world.

Take a look at just a few of our everyday heroes:

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5 conversations to have with your child before your next camping trip

Racing around the campground with brand new friends. Building sandcastles on the beach. Roasting marshmallows over the campfire.

Some of our best childhood memories are made in parks.

Before you pack your little ones into the car for your next family vacation, here are five conversations to make sure your trip is as safe as it is fun!

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Darlington’s daring wetland restoration

In today’s post, Zone Ecologist Corina Brdar shares the exciting restoration story that’s been unfolding at Darlington Provincial Park.

There’s nothing like seeing an idea turn into reality, is there?

Especially when the idea is an enormous one, and it takes tons of cooperation from all kinds of players.

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How will I know ecological integrity when I see it?

Preserving ecological integrity is a priority for all of us here at Ontario Parks. But just what does ecological integrity look like? Algonquin Provincial Park Naturalist David LeGros explains…

When I start many of my evening programs at Algonquin, I often ask the audience if they like nature.

Usually I get a lot of hands up in the air, but there are always a few that don’t put their hands up. I tell those people, “You might be in the wrong place, because Algonquin is crawling with nature.” I know these folks may have not been paying attention to what I was saying or chose not to participate in my survey, but it always gets a laugh from the crowd.

However, this did get me thinking about why we go to parks over staying home or visiting a big city…

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What do park staff DO all winter?

In today’s post, Assistant Superintendent Josie Grenier and other southeast zone staff give us a behind-the-scenes glimpse into what our crews are up to during the winter months.

There’s a false assumption out there that Ontario Parks goes into hibernation in the winter, just like bears, but we are by no means just a summer experience.

Field staff are often asked, “What do you guys do in the winter or when you’re closed?”

Where can we even begin to answer this question!?

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A trip down the Pakeshkag River at Grundy Lake Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Sonje Bols, a naturalist at Grundy Lake Provincial Park.

Part of a park naturalist’s job is to familiarize themselves with the natural and cultural wonders of their park through exploration.

Whether it’s tramping through bogs to catch and identify dragonflies, flipping rocks to look for snakes, or canoeing along ancient Indigenous canoe routes, naturalists set out to observe and explore every inch of their parks so they can bring that knowledge and experience to park visitors and managers.

Continue reading A trip down the Pakeshkag River at Grundy Lake Provincial Park